Back in 2015 after Watford’s promotion from the Championship, Ighalo was asked where he was most looking forward to playing in his first Premier League season.
No hesitation: “Old Trafford. It’ll be a dream come true to play against Manchester United, the team I supported in my youth”. Little did he know what would happen almost five years later.
Odion does a huge amount of charity work for people in Nigeria and he’s also still a very talented striker.
It’s a left-field move by United and I’m also sure that you’ll have read and heard all the negatives so to balance things out let me give you some positives: Ighalo is a natural number nine and a natural goalscorer with pace and power.
Barcelona tried to sign him just 12 months ago because they wanted that type of player. He turned them down.
He is a very strong character, too. The Nigerian got a lot of criticism back home after missing chances when the Super Eagles were knocked out by Argentina at the last World Cup (including abuse aimed at his family) but he came back stronger to finish top scorer not only in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying but also at the tournament itself, ahead of the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez.
Ighalo’s proven in the Premier League and will be able to hit the ground running, fitness permitting.
He’ll also be a very popular team-mate who will give his all to be a success at United. Nobody will work harder.
It’s almost like a homecoming, too, as Ighalo’s family has been based in Manchester.
It’s a fairy tale move for the United fan from Lagos. Now let’s see if, not for the first time in his career, he can prove the doubters wrong.